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A member of the far-left "Squad" of freshmen congresswomen slammed President Trump’s coronavirus response this week, alleging it was “akin to war crimes.”

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., made her allegations in a video posted Monday.

Claiming “criminal negligence, science denials, [and] a sluggish response,” on the part of Trump, she said the U.S. was now playing catchup during the pandemic, “which is the last place that you want to be in the midst of any public health crisis.”

Pressley said relief efforts shouldn’t discriminate based on race, income or immigration status and advocated for universal paid leave, sick pay for all workers and "long-term financial assistance.”

“This hurt is unprecedented, it is being felt by everyone and the relief should be felt by everyone,” she added during the video conference with other progressive leaders.


Pressley said progressives need to be even more “unapologetic” and “emboldened” in pushing for proposals that she said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has derided as Democratic “wish lists."

"When Leader McConnell says he's tired of our wish list, we're going to keep wishing," she said.

"When Leader McConnell says he's tired of our wish list, we're going to keep wishing."

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

“Now is not the time to be incremental,” she added. “I don’t think that it is too big of a wish to want to center the humanity and the dignity and the very preservation of life for every individual, every family and every worker.”

Trump has been criticized by Democrats for not taking the threat of the virus more seriously when it first showed up in the U.S., for being slow to react and for not getting more testing kits and personal protective equipment to states.

The president has pointed to a travel ban he placed on China in late January as an example of his quick response and has accused the World Health Organization of covering up for China as the virus began to spread, saying the WHO put "political correctness over lifesaving measures.”

War crimes are defined as "grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions" and include torture, willful killing and taking hostages, among others.


Trump was accused by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others in January other threatening to commit war crimes when he tweeted that the U.S. had targeted Iranian cultural sites. He later backtracked and said he would “obey the law.”

Pressley went into self-isolation in late March after contracting flu-like symptoms that she feared at the time could have been the coronavirus, the Washington Examiner reported. She later tested negative.